Agar Jelly Fruit Cake เค้กวุ้นผลไม้

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This ain’t your mama’s “fruit cake”! This light and refreshing beauty is an absolute showstopper, and nothing says “summer treats” more than these gorgeous cubes of fruit-embedded jelly. The coconut layer adds an extra tropical flare! The fruit combination I used: mango, papaya, pineapple, lychee, kiwi and blueberries, is a winning combination, but you can really be creative with it. You can have colour themes for your cake too: red, purples, oranges…


Makes 1 7-inch round cake

Fruit Layer

  • 1 ⅓  cups water
  • 2/3 cup juice from canned lychee (and keep the fruit for the cake itself)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1¾ tsp agar agar powder
  • ~2 cups small fruit pieces of your choice(I used mango, pineapple, red papaya, lychee, kiwi and blueberries)

Coconut Layer

  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¾ tsp + ⅛ tsp agar agar powder
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • ~4 inches pandan leaf, optional

 Bottom Juice Layer

  • ¾ cup juice of your choice (I used mango juice to match the colour and flavour of my fruit pieces. If your juice isn’t thick like mine, you can use 1 cup of juice and no water)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¾ tsp + ⅛ tsp agar agar powder
  • Sugar to adjust flavour if needed


Before you start, make sure you have all your fruit cut and ready to go.

Make the fruit layer. In a small pot add COLD water, lychee juice, agar agar powder, and whisk until there are no more lumps. Once mixed, turn on the heat and bring to a full boil, stirring constantly.

Once boiling, let it boil for a minute or so, or until the agar agar powder is completely dissolved. To check, scoop some liquid into a spoon, pour it off, then closely inspect the spoon to see if there are any specks of agar agar powder stuck to the spoon or not. If not, you’re good to move on.

Add sugar and stir until dissolved, then remove from heat. Immediately pour about 1/4-inch of the agar agar into your mold. Working quickly, place the fruit pieces, making sure you evenly distribute all the different colours. Once you’ve added all the fruits, pour the rest of the liquid gently over the fruits. Let it sit for several minutes or until the top is firm enough to pour on the second layer.

While you wait for the fruit layer to set, make the coconut layer. In a small pot, combined the coconut milk, water, agar agar powder, and stir to dissolve the powder. Add the pandan leaf, if using, then turn on the heat to medium high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once boiling, let it boil for a minute or so, or just until the agar agar is completely dissolved (do the same check). Then add sugar and a pinch of salt and stir to dissolve. Remove the pandan leaf.

Your bottom layer should be firm enough by this point, but check by gently touching it and see if the top is set and dry; it is okay if it is still soft in the centre. Once it is ready, GENTLY pour the piping hot coconut layer on top of it; if the bottom layer is still quite soft, pour the coconut layer onto the back of a spoon and let it drizzle gently onto the bottom layer.

While you wait for the coconut layer to set, make the bottom juice layer using the exact same method as the previous layers. Pour the juice layer onto the coconut layer. Refrigerate for a couple of hours until cold. SEE NOTE BELOW.

If you want to unmold the whole thing in one piece, it can be a bit of a challenge, but see the video for my technique and let me know if you’ve got a better idea on how to remove the agar agar from a large mold like this!

NOTE: When working with acidic liquids such as orange juice or other tart juices, DO NOT simmer the liquid any longer than necessary. Simmering agar agar in an acidic liquid for a long time will break it down and it will not set. Simmer it just long enough to dissolve the powder and use it immediately. Trust me, I learned the hard way! 

Watch this “footnote” video for more tips to ensure your success when making this recipe!

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Category: Gluten Free, Sweets